If you’re a crypto investor, or you’re considering jumping into the crypto space, it’s likely that you’ve already heard a lot about Ethereum ( ETH 2.37% ).
For one thing, it’s the second-most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. And, just as important for new investors, Ethereum could skyrocket in value in the coming years.
Some projections estimate that the digital currency could reach $50,000 by 2030 — more than 10 times its current price.
Of course, no one knows for sure what Ethereum’s price will be in the coming years, but there are at least two reasons this digital coin could be poised for tons more growth ahead. Let’s take a look.
1. It’s a core part of decentralized finance
One of the single most important reasons Ethereum’s coin has the potential to increase in value is because the Ethereum blockchain has become a foundation of decentralized finance (DeFi).
DeFi apps are being built that allow people to exchange assets with each other, all without the need for traditional institutions (like banks) to facilitate the transactions. This idea could eventually revolutionize many aspects of financial transactions, and Ethereum’s blockchain is what most developers are using to build DeFi apps.
There are already more than 3,000 of these Ethereum-based DeFi apps (or dApps) currently available.
One prime example of Ethereum’s ability to create new DeFi markets is the expanding non-fungible token (NFT) market, in which digital assets (like images and music) are being bought and sold in marketplaces built on Ethereum’s blockchain.
The DeFi market is worth an estimated $100 billion right now, making Ethereum’s blockchain technology a valuable part of this potentially massive market.
2. Ethereum is about to get even better
One of the drawbacks to Ethereum’s blockchain is that it uses a ton of energy to process transactions. That’s because any information recorded on the Ethereum blockchain (including transactions) occurs using a proof-of-work system.
Put simply, proof-of-work means that a complex problem has to be solved in order for transactions to occur. This process takes up a lot of computing power, hence the energy usage, and also takes time to complete.
The good news is that Ethereum is evolving and next year it’ll officially switch over to a proof-of-stake system that uses Ether token holders as validators for transactions. This will not only make Ethereum more efficient, but transactions will also process faster.
With this improvement, Ethereum is proving that its blockchain can get better and adapt to new demands.
Keep this in mind
Investors should keep in mind that the cryptocurrency market is still very volatile. Even Ethereum’s token, which is the second-largest crypto, can experience significant price swings.
This means that before buying Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency, you should understand the potential risks of the investment.
Having said that, the potential for Ethereum and the broader crypto market is huge. More and more people and companies are beginning to see the value that digital tokens and blockchains have to offer in the financial space, and it’s unlikely that this market is going away anytime soon.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.